How To Sue in a Small Claims Court

If you are thinking of suing a person or business when you’ve tried other ways to resolve a problem, you should always consider going to Small Claims Court before hiring a lawyer.

There is a limit to the amount ($10,000 in Texas) and the types of claims that you can bring.  Also, a Small Claims Court can only award money damages (aside from evictions, it cannot force someone to perform, or issue an injunction prohibiting someone from doing something).  But Small Claims Courts are informal, effective, and a lot less expensive than attorneys.

Ensure that your claim is LESS than $10,000 (if not, the case will be dismissed).  Also, research the legal name and/or assumed name of a business to make sure that you are suing the right party.

The State Bar of Texas publishes an excellent pamphlet (PDF) on everything you need to know about handling a case in Small Claims Court.  Here is the link:

I guess “Arbitrator Judy” and the “The People’s Arbitrations” didn’t sell with the corporate sponsors.  Good Luck.

Texas Durable Power of Attorney and Form

A financial power of attorney is a legal instrument that gives another person (called an attorney-in-fact) the authority to make personal and financial decisions on your behalf.  A financial power of attorney can be as broad, or as specific as you want it to be.  For example, a power of attorney can authorize someone to make banking, tax, litigation, and/or financial planning decisions on your behalf.  A financial power of attorney does not, however, encompass medical decisions–a separate medical power of attorney is needed for that purpose.

You can make the financial power of attorney effective immediately after it is signed, or make it effective in the event of your incapacity (the inability to make decisions on your own behalf).

Although the State of Texas has promulgated a standard form to be used (see the link below), you should consult with an attorney when preparing a financial power of attorney to ensure that it accurately reflects your needs and wishes.